Belgium will play in their first Davis Cup final since 1904 following Steve Darcis four sets victory over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in the deciding match of their Davis Cup semi-final.
During the roller-coaster encounter, the world number 64 encountered stiff opposition from the spirited Argentinian before battling to take the historic 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(3), victory.
The Belgian was impressive on his serve during the first set and at the start of the second as he didn’t drop a service game.
Leading 6-4, 2-3 Darcis was in control of the match until Delbonis launched a mighty comeback. The Argentine won four successive games to take the second set, bringing Argentina’s hopes back to life.
At one set all, the majority of the third set was an agonizingly close encounter with neither player being able to break serve during the majority of the set.
Both players had chances but were unable to convert. The serving consistency finally ended when Darcis broke Delbonis to love to move 6-5 ahead. The closeness rapidly evaporated in the business end of the set as Darcis won 12 consecutive points to take a two sets to one lead.
With the outcome of the Davis Cup tie resting on the fourth set, it was a nervous encounter for both the players as well as those watching.
Fortunately for Argentina, Delbonis recovered after his disappointing end of the previous set. After an exchange of breaks of serves, proceedings lead into a crucial tie-break.
The adrenaline was pumping through Darcis as he roared to a 4-1 lead, thanks to a outstanding backhand volley at the net.
He capitalized on this further by firing a forehand down the line to move two points away from the win. Delbonis did recover a point, but it wasn't enough to deny the Belgian team. An overhead smash from Darcis secured his teams place in the final for the first time in 111 years.
The significance of the victory was clear as Darcis collapsed onto the ground in front of his home crowd.
Throughout the match, which lasted three hours and eleven minutes, Darcis produced 5 aces, 43 winners and 48 unforced errors.
In their first final since 1904, Belgium will play Great Britain.
The final will take place on home soil for the Belgium team, however a venue is yet to be confirmed. The two teams have played each other on 11 previous occasions since 1904 with Great Britain leading the head-to-head 7-4. Their most recent meeting was in the 2012 Group I Europe/Africa - Quarterfinal where Belgium won 4-1.
A video of Belgium celebrating the win was uploaded by Twitter user Leigh Walsh (@LeighWalsh87)